Over 80 percent of Americans have some sort of ear piercing. That’s very common! But, you might be looking for something a little less common. That’s why some people look into switching to either ear plugs or ear tunnels. But it can be hard to find the right ones for you.
So how do you find the best ear tunnels and ear plugs for your ears?
Let’s go through how to shop for ear tunnels and plugs.
What are Ear Plugs?
Ear plugs are basically earrings that stretch out your piercing hole. Plugs are usually solid pieces of jewelry.
Ear gauges are essentially the same thing as ear plugs, but the term gauge refers to the size of the gauge. You might be interested in purchasing ear gauges.
Ear plugs come in different shapes and sizes. Most people use round ear plugs, however. There are different varieties of ear plugs, too.
Some types of earplugs may be harder for newbies to manage. Some ear plugs require O-rings to keep them in place. Others have screws, which can be easier for beginners to manage.
What are Ear Tunnels?
Ear tunnels are similar to ear plugs, but they’re usually hollow. That means that you can see straight through them. That gives them a more dramatic appearance than regular ear plugs.
Ear tunnels are best suited to people with particular senses of style. Depending on the ear tunnels you choose, they can give you more of a punk or goth look.
You can get flesh-colored ear tunnels that blend into your ears. These can be good for Halloween, or if you simply want to add an air of mystery all year long.
Stretching Out Your Ears for Ear Plugs
When you’re choosing ear plugs, you need to start by choosing the right size ear gauges. You’ll need to start small and work your way up – you can’t just jump into buying the size you eventually want. You need to stretch your piercing hole so that they fit.
Most people have 14- or 16-gauge piercings if they’ve just gotten their ears pierced at the mall. But that doesn’t mean that your piercings couldn’t have stretched over time, particularly if you’ve already been wearing heavier earrings.
You’ll want to sit down with a piercing artist and get your ears evaluated. They can check and see what gauge your ears currently are.
They can come up with a plan to help you level up to the gauge you desire. It won’t happen overnight, however – depending on what size you’re looking for, it can be a long process.
You’ll also probably have to use tapers. As the name implies, these are bigger on one side than they are on the other. This helps increase the size of your hole.
You don’t have to do the same size plug on both ears. You can start with one, and see how you like it before making a bigger commitment.
Choosing Ear Tunnels and Plugs
Once you’ve worked out your ear gauge size, you have some other decisions to make when you’re choosing tunnels and plugs for your ears. Figuring out what ear plugs and ear tunnels are right for you depends on a number of different factors.
You also need to look into styles you like. If you just don’t like how your ear plugs look, you might want to take them out before you’re ready to go up a size. That’s just a waste of the money and time you’ve already committed to the process.
Think about the weight of the ear plugs you’re considering. You don’t want to choose something that’s going to be uncomfortable. The weight of the material can play a role in this. But, the thickness of the plug or tunnel you choose can also be a factor.
That’s a reason to consider choosing ear tunnels, instead – having less material generally means that ear tunnels will generally be less heavy than ear plugs, assuming that they’re each made of the same material.
Choosing Materials for Ear Plugs and Tunnels
If you’re allergic to any material, you should avoid purchasing any jewelry made of that material – including ear plugs. You also want to choose materials that are comfortable, and that mesh with your style and the material of your other jewelry.
Stainless steel is one commonly used material. It’s easy to sterilize, and since it’s non-porous it’s good to wear while you’re still healing. However, it can be a little heavy, which can be trickier for people with more sensitive ears.
Stainless steel jewelry also contains nickel, which is a common allergen. So people with nickel allergies will have to look elsewhere.
Titanium is one material that’s suitable for newly pierced ears and is free of nickel. It’s also lighter than stainless steel. And, it’s less prone to damage than other materials like silver or gold, which is helpful when you’re getting used to new plugs.
There are certain materials you should stay away from until your holes are properly healed and ideally until they’re the size you’d like to stop at.
Ear Tunnels and Plugs: Start Shopping Today
Clearly, there’s a lot to consider when you’re shopping for ear tunnels and plugs. You’ll just have to look at your options and carefully consider what’s right for your needs.
Are you looking for more fashion advice? We can help. Take a look at a few of our other incredible articles.